Today I was reading through some blogs and I ran across Chuck Bomar’s blog post entitled “Three Reasons we Should Consider Secular Colleges.” With a title like that it grabbed my attention so I figured I would read through it. It was pretty short so I have it pasted below and then I have a few of my on thoughts on what he said.
“Christian colleges are wonderful. I believe, at least for the most part, of what their mission is and the role they have in equipping Christians for life. And, I personally know people who have strong convictions about sending their children to a Christian college. For them, I say, “wonderful.” The truth is this is right way to go for many people.
On the other hand I also think there are a lot of benefits of going to a secular college. I could probably list at least 10, but to start here are 3 that I think are at least worthy of some discussion:
- Finances. The truth is most Christian college’s are crazy expensive. The amount of debt that people go into to attend one of these schools is becoming increasingly crippling to many graduates. It seems to be worthy of consideration to simply stay involved in a local church and attend a less expensive secular school that gives a person just as much, or potentially more, clout in the workforce for a fraction of the price.
- Mission. It certainly isn’t true for all, but I have seen so many people get sucked into the “Christian College Bubble” and thus lose all sort of mission and the realities of the “real world.” It’s easy to talk about mission and how we are called to live on mission in a Christian setting. But to live it out is a completely different thing. Secular campuses can be a tremendous training ground for someone entering the workforce and especially someone involved in a local church – and in many ways it provides more depth to their training than simply working at a coffee shop or restaurant.
- Connection. I know many people feel convicted to attend Christian colleges because of the Christ-centered instruction in the field of their study. This can in fact be a huge benefit of attending a Christian college. However I must say that I believe this type of learning can also occur from being connected to older adults from a local church that work in that field. And from my experience those attending a secular university tend to crave that instruction and understanding, which is a great means for connecting people to others in a local church context. Additionally, and again this does not apply to all, but often times Christian colleges talk more about involvement in a local church than they concentrate on helping students become/stay connected. In fact they tend to offer everything a local church does – small groups, accountability, chapels, etc. – which inevitably leads many students to feel like they don’t need to be involved in a church. I have personally found this to be a much larger issue than most admit to.